Signs Your HVAC System is Sized Improperly
In the heating and air conditioning business over the years we have seen many instances where previous companies/ builders have installed or sold the wrong size system to a homeowner. That being said, one of the most common signs that your system is sized wrong is if your unit runs constantly or if it restarts too often (short cycling). This could mean your unit is either undersized or oversized.
Many homeowners grasped the concept of a unit being undersized. It only makes sense if your unit is not large enough to keep up with the heat from your home that it would cause the AC to run more – and people get that. But on the other hand if your HVAC system is too large this can be a problem. It’s a case for “too much of a good thing is not a good thing“.
In The list below we will describe in more detail some of the indications that you may be dealing with a heating and air system that was not correctly sized for your home.
Your HVAC System Constantly Runs
If you are noticing that your HVAC is constantly running and seems to never keep up with your thermostat setting, this can mean that the unit was undersized for your home. This happens often with builders that may have cut corners on the size of the unit or components like smaller air returns. You could potentially also have poorly insulated seals at your doors and windows, letting in hot air. There are lifestyle changes that can affect this too. Potentially there could be factors like pets and family members creating more traffic in and out as they open and close the doors, letting cool air escape.
Short Cycling (cutting on and off too often)
This is one that we hear often: you may have a unit that cuts on and off constantly throughout the day and night. What is most likely happening is that your HVAC system is turning on momentarily and then because it’s oversized is too quickly dropping the air temperature around your thermostat and then forcing itself to be turned off. That is exactly what you don’t want to happen with an efficient HVAC system because in order to increase the air quality as well as lower humidity (and circulate air temps throughout the home) you need to have a system that stays on for a good duration of time per cycle. Another drawback to this condition is that most of the wear-and-tear is occurring whenever your system first cuts on because of the spike in the current draw. This will eventually wear out your system much quicker similar to how stop-and-go traffic wears out a car’s brakes, and drive a train much faster.
Normally a homeowner can get away with just two maintenance appointments per year that check the AC and the furnace system that is functioning properly. During these maintenance visits, it’s often that the technician will clean the outside coils and inspect the electrical components. Normally you will find that it’s not very often that components need to be replaced. However, due to the overworking of an undersized system and due to the overworking of a short cycling system, there are certain components that can tend to wear out quicker like capacitors, relays, contactors, and fans.
When a technician properly sizes your home he will take in the many factors. Some of the aspects that commonly get overlooked or areas where you have a lot of foot traffic for a business that the door is constantly opening and closing and/or having really high ceilings. If the HVAC system does a lot of short cycling you will end up with a larger amount of humidity which will increase felt discomfort. This normally has a downward spiral as the homeowner will feel that the indoor air quality is a little hot and will lower the thermostat setting, which will in turn make the system cycle on and off even more often.
If you think you have problems with your HVAC size or that it might be time for an upgrade to a new unit, give us a call. We’ll evaluate your system and help make recommendations for optimum value. After all, we want to keep you cool all summer long and warm in the winter. Just schedule a visit with one of our technicians to talk about how we can help with your thermostat settings. Would you like to learn more options our techs can help you with? give us a call 704-684-5339